The sources said Hamas has been alarmed by the intensification of
Israeli military strikes on the Gaza Strip in early 2011. The Israeli operations
were said to have been in response to a steady increase in missile strikes
from the Gaza Strip, Middle East Newsline reported.
Hamas has demanded that the Palestinian militias, particularly the
Iranian-sponsored Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees — end
mortar and missile fire into Israel. But the militias have refused, saying
they would retaliate for Israeli attacks. The last war between Hamas and
Israel was in January 2009.
On Jan. 11, Hamas commanders held what was termed a tense meeting with
Jihad, PRC and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. The
sources said the militias criticized Hamas's refusal to join in operations
"The militias were told that they must obey the national consensus, and
that the Palestinians could not afford another invasion by Israel," the
Since the meeting, Hamas, also warned by neighboring Egypt, has tried to
block militia attacks along the
Gaza-Israeli border. The sources said there have not been any confrontations
between Hamas security forces and the militias.
"The militias do not want another Hamas crackdown, and they might reduce
their attacks, at least temporarily," the source said.